Thursday, December 16, 2010

When I speak of darkness, I mean the absence of knowledge

And so to stand firmly and avoid pitfalls, 
keep to the path you are on.  
Let your longing relentlessly beat upon the  cloud of unknowing 
that lies between you and your God.  
Pierce that cloud with the keen shaft of your love, 
spurn the thought of anything less, 
and do not give up this work for anything.  
For the contemplative work of love by itself will eventually heal you...
And so diligently persevere until you feel joy in it.  For in the beginning it is usual to feel nothing but a kind of darkness about your mind, or as it were, a cloud of unknowing.  You will seem to know nothing and to feel nothing except a naked intent toward God in the depths of your being.  Try as you might, this darkness and this cloud will remain between you and your God.  You will feel frustrated, for your mind will be unable to grasp him, and you heart will not relish the delight of his love.  But learn to be at home in this darkness. Return to it as often as you can, letting your spirit cry out to him whom you love.  
the fourteenth century anonymous author,
the Cloud of Unknowing